Attack on Dede, not healthy
• Ayew – Distraught after the penalty miss
Tonnes of harsh, bigoted comments freely decanted moments after Ghana captain Andre Dede Ayew, blew off a spot-kick presented to Ghana. It was his first penalty miss for the nation.
The verbal onslaughts were, certainly, directed at the skipper after he failed to put away the dead-ball against Uruguay during the second Group H game of the ongoing Qatar World Cup – which ends tomorrow.
The Black Stars had staggered to a 2-3 loss to Portugal in the group’s opener, but supremely recovered to upstage South Korea 3-2, giving itself a lifeline heading into the Uruguay nerve-jangler.
Ghana desperately wanted a draw against the Uruguayans to qualify to the Round of 16 stage – the latter having lost and drawn to Portugal and South Korea respectively and needed a win to pull through.
The Stars had been tipped to beat Uruguay and avenge the agonising defeat of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where Luis Suarez handballed a goal-bound ball in the last seconds of their scorching quarter-final tie, denying Ghana from becoming the first African country to qualify for Mundial’s semi-final berth.
It is the reason the final game of Group H attracted the cynosure of all eyes – Suarez making it worse by his comments at a presser ahead of the game that he had no regrets for the ‘transgressions’ he committed 12 years ago. Perhaps, he was right, as he got punished for that sin with a red-card and penalty against his side which was wasted by top-goal poacher Asamoah Gyan.
Heart-rending as the Qatar first round exit may be, there is nothing we can do about it now than put the defeat behind us and plan again. The gratuitous attack on Andre and the Stars will not change the result.
Let us stop picking on certain players – and leaving others. In their game against Poland at the Stadium 974, Argentina star Lionel Messi, missed a penalty but they went ahead to win 2-0. Thus, arguments that if Andre had scored the penalty against Uruguay, Ghana would have won the game, is a deflated one.
If anything at all, we should be working right away to ensure we avert future pitfalls so we can have successful campaigns.
Truth is that we have a multi-talented team that can take the world by storm if well harnessed and shepherded. With a very competent coach, this crop of young, inexperienced players can be turned into world beaters one day.
Having said that, the National Sports Authority (NSA), Board Chairman – Seth Panwum NSA, must be commended for leading a delegation to pay a courtesy call on Andre Ayew and his family last week.
That is the way to go; it is great to show such support to him when the captain seems down after the tournament.
Indeed, Andre’s service to Ghana since busting onto the scene for Ghana in a four-nation tournament in 2007, has been phenomenal – and little wonder, he is the nation’s most-capped players with 113 appearances.
He deserves some backing now – not condemnation for a player who captained Ghana to win the continent’s only FIFA Under-20 World Cup as far back as 2009.
By John Vigah